Forest 49 - Purple-Leafed Smokebush


Cotinus 'Grace

Cotinus 'Grace' in Forest 49. Photo by L. Hawkes  Young Cotinus leaves in Forest 49. Photo by A. Burgess

Origin of the species name

Cotinus is from Greek for wild olive; 'Grace' a cultivar name referring to Grace Dummer, the wife of the propagator, Peter Dummer.

Family

Anacardiaceae

Date planted

November 2009

Lifespan

This cultivar can take 20 years to attain full height.

General description

This is a small deciduous tree with a rounded crown and smooth bark. The large rounded purplish leaves give a bright autumn display of red and orange. The flowers appear in summer and appear like puffs of smoke above the branches. Height 5m Spread 4m.

Natural Distribution and Habitat

This garden hybrid has no natural distribution or habitat.

Conservation status

As a garden hybrid it has no conservation status.

Planting pattern

Planted in slightly curved, angled lines on both sides of Forest Drive on the northern side of Dairy Farmers Hill.

Uses

It is widely used in parks and gardens, particularly for colour contrast. `Grace' is a garden hybrid resulting from a deliberate cross between the American chittamwood (Cotinus obovatus) and a variety of the Venetian sumac (Cotinus coggygria `Velvet Cloak'). Raised by Peter Dummer, propagator at Hillier's Nursery, in Winchester, in the late 1970s and named after his wife. The hybrid has won the Royal Horticultural Society's prestigious award of garden merit.